Summary and book reviews of True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff

True Believer

By Virginia Euwer Wolff

True Believer
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    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Feb 2001,
    272 pages.
    Paperback: Sep 2002,
    272 pages.

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About this Book

Book Summary

We have a multitude of obstacles to overcome here.
We'll begin.

When LaVaughn was little, the obstacles in her life didn't seem so bad. If she had a fight with Myrtle or Annie, it would never last long. If she was mad at her mother, they made up by bedtime. School was simple. Boys were buddies. Everything made sense.

But LaVaughn is fifteen and the obstacles aren't going away anymore. Big questions separate her from her friends. Her mother is distracted by a new man. School could slip away from her so easily. And the boy who's a miracle in her life acts just as if he's in love with her. Only he's not in love with her.

Returning to the characters and language she explored so profoundly in Make Lemonade, Virginia Euwer Wolff rises to the occasion in this astonishing second of three novels about LaVaughn, her family, and her community.

1.

My name is LaVaughn and I am 15.

When a little kid draws a picture
it is all a big face
and some arms stuck on.
That's their life.

Well, then:
You get older
and you are a whole mess of things,
new thoughts, sorry feelings,
big plans, enormous doubts,
going along hoping and getting disappointed,
over and over again,
no wonder I don't recognize
my little crayon picture.
It appears to be me
and it is
and it is not.

2.

In the sex class we have to take by school law
where they showed condoms and scared us about AIDS,
they said, "Sexuality is the most confusing thing
about being a teenager." I am sure
this is correct
because I strained my ears to hear over the racket
of kids making a joke of the class,
waving condoms on their fingers,
hooting.
And also because the sex teacher said it four times.

But me and my friends Myrtle & Annie
say it don't have to be the most confusing.
There is math and other hard subjects too
and street murders right ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
School Library Journal - Kit Vaughan, Midlothian Middle School, VA

Written in free verse, this first-person narrative is related in a conversational vernacular that tugs readers into the story. As LaVaughn progresses in her Grammar Build-Up class and recognizes the importance of proper speech, the language of the storyteller subtly changes. Grades 6+

Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey

Peopled with some of the strong characters from Making Lemonade (1993) this credible narrative looks into the very soul of poverty and celebrates the family, friends and community that have shaped LeVaughn. Ages 12 to 16.

Publishers Weekly

With delicacy and sensitivity, Wolff examines the tensions that grow out of LaVaughn's decision to improve herself while leaving others behind, her choice to forgive in the face of Myrtle and Annie's intolerance, and her ability to trust despite a dangerous world. In delving into LaVaughn's life, Wolff unmasks the secret thoughts adolescents hold sacred and, in so doing, lets her readers know they are not alone. Ages 12-up.

Kirkus Reviews

When Wolff writes a book, it's an event. When she revisits LaVaughn, as she does in True Believer, it is a prodigious gift. Ages 12-16.

Reader Reviews
Dont Want 2 Say

True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff
This is a book about a confused 15 year old girl. She explains what like is like through her eyes. I like that and I think a lot of teens go through this nowadays. Good job Virginia Euwer Wolff!! Love it :)

Caitlin

True Believer
This book is amazing! At first, Jody and LaVaughn seem like the cutest thing ever! The dance, all the cute events, but then came chapter 61. I got so immensely confused, that I had to ask, Is Jody gay? I am so confused because of the note and ...   Read More

taa

true believer
Well to be real at first I did not really want to read this book it did not really seem interesting but I started to get into it and it got better and I loved it. It tells about a teenagers life and if you ask me its something most people go through...   Read More

*Priscilla*

true believer
*I LOVED this book!!!* I have actually read it twice but I had read it 3 years ago and I could not remember the title, all I remembered was that I really liked it so when I got the title I checked it out right away and read it and it was even better....   Read More

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